No one deserves to die before their time. But Russie's death was particularly cruel. So many gay men of his generation died of AIDS. Happily partnered with Joe for decades, he avoided that scourge, only to waste away just like an AIDS victim. I'm glad we got to say goodbye to him. The experience of seeing him so far gone, though, when we visited at the end of January, 2001, was one of the worst of my life.
If your spirit is watching, Russ, take heart in seeing what a smart, beautiful girl the Bean has become and know that we all love and miss you more than words can say. We will always be your family and you will always be ours.